Two weeks ago, social news site Digg launched the long-awaited redesign that was supposed to help it recapture some of its former glory. So far, the big winner from Digg’s redesign has instead been its chief rival, Reddit.
Digg’s new publisher-friendly approach has many of its users outraged. Less discussed, but possible even more important, the new Digg’s rollout has been fraught with downtime and other technical difficulties.
As a result, Digg experienced a massive user revolt with many users boycotting the service and taking their business over to Reddit. They helped promote their desertion by voting up Reddit stories on Digg, filling its front page with content from its rival.
The result has been a massive spike in traffic and new user registrations for Reddit:
Obviously, it’s too early to say how much of Reddit’s newfound popularity is here to stay. But the Reddit team — all of four people — caught wind of the planned Digg revolt early and laid out a plan to make the most of it.
The Reddit team couldn’t be sure the planned boycott would amount to much, but just in case, they turned on new servers so that they would be ready to handle a traffic spike if they needed to. Then they added a shovel to their logo, which Digg had just removed from its own. Then, as the Diggers began flooding in, the Reddit team engaged with them, posting updates on how their traffic was exploding as it happened.
Last night, at BuzzFeed‘s New York Viral Meetup, Reddit’s Erik Martin explained how they did it. Check out the video here, and click below for a better look at the presentation slides:
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